The life of a park ranger is never done. At least it seems that way if those park ranging tasks play out in the middle of Jurassic World Evolution 2.
After seeing a base game come to market on the back of a brilliant franchise opener – the original Jurassic World Evolution was, and continues to be, a joy – Frontier Developments have continued to ensure that Jurassic World Evolution 2 players would always have a reason to get working.
It’s here where we get to the Dominion Malta Expansion, as Frontier once again delve into the depths of history, and take on a bit of artistic licence, to provide park rangers the opportunity to enhance their park with a host of new dinosaurs, a number of exciting new variants, some more buildings and locations and a whole new campaign experience – as if we needed to throw any more of our time into the Jurassic world.
For anyone familiar with Jurassic World Evolution 2, then the workings of the Dominion Malta Expansion will come as no surprise. It very much follows on nicely from that of the Dominion Biosyn Expansion, a content drop which itself wormed its way into the world on the back of the Jurassic World Dominion big screen film. Whereas that movie may have struggled with acclaim, there’s no doubting that the video game adaptation was a well worked piece, building out the base game immensely.
We’d hope that would be the same for the Dominion Malta Expansion, and if truth be told, it ain’t far off, but a lack of a new Chaos Theory scenario, possibly our favourite segment of Jurassic World Evolution 2, feels a little disappointing.
But that’s not to say that there isn’t reason to delve in and with a new Campaign front and centre, there’s certainly plenty to get involved in. It’s this campaign which – apparently – takes us off to events prior to the Dominion film and as the name suggests, it’s the sun and sea of the Med which is our destination; Malta to be exact. See, it’s here where three new islands have been locked down for dinosaur experimentation and that means it’s up to you to build and manage the various facilities. As you’d expect to hear, these have been inspired by the Maltese lands.
Cabot Finch returns, as do others from the film (and shock horror, shoot us now but we’ve still not seen Jurassic World Dominion so couldn’t really comment on how it all fits in), and ultimately you’ll be left to play god once more. That means settling down with a host of ideas before attempting to fit them in, hoping your grand plan comes to fruition.
Throughout the campaign you’ll discover the usual Jurassic World Evolution 2 base stuff in place, but Dominion Malta adds in new locations, upgrades to the hatchery and more. How you play with those pieces is – ultimately – up to you. We won’t spoil the tale, but let it be known that Frontier know how to immerse you into these lands.
Others may find the Sandbox more entertaining, especially without new Chaos Theory fun being engaged, and it’s there where the Dominion Malta Expansion works best. It’s here where the three locations of Dominion Malta come in, with San Albertus Peninsula, San Marie Bay and Santaegidius Island at the fore. Being allowed free rein in these is nice, adding in Malta-themed Control Centres, Emergency Shelters and Medical Centres, Hatcheries and more. But what is especially nice are the four more dinosaurs which have been added into the game through the expansion too.
Yep, we know that the biggest draw of any Jurassic World Evolution 2 experience is found in the dinos, and Dominion Malta doesn’t disappoint in that regard, with the Atrociraptor, the Lystrosaurus, Oviraptor and Moros Intrepidus popping up in their new homes. There are new skins and variants for existing dinosaurs too, with Jurassic World Dominion inspired Iguanodon, Allosaurus and Dimorphodon variants in place, accompanied by a Carnotaurus skin.
We’d suspect that it will be the new raptors which are of most interest and in the Atrociraptor is a dino that many will want to add into their park. Running along the same lines as the infamous Velociraptor, the Atrociraptor is a bit bulkier, a bit boxier and a bit more deadly. It’s an evil looking kid that will happily trawl the floods and swamps looking for a kill, with plenty of colour customisation available.
On the other end of the raptor scale is a teeny, tiny Oviraptor; a little guy who is most at home eating whatever it can get its claws on; meat, fish, eggs or fruit. Running a pretty unique feather arrangement, there’s a chance that everyone will want this weird oddity running in their park.
From there we have the strangely named Moros Intrepidus; another carnivore which is much, much smaller than its iconic T. rex cousin. Visual similarities are obvious, but due to its small size (you’re looking at a diminutive 0.4metres in height) will find this one scavenging around for the tiniest dinos or lizards. We’ve found much love for the Moros Intrepidus, mostly thanks to its cute and cuddly external side. Just don’t imagine for a minute we’d be jumping in an enclosure with one.
But it’s the Lystrosaurus which has really touched our hearts. We’re big fans of dropping some herbivores into our parks and letting them get on with life in their own slow, plodding way. The little Lystrosaurus has been a joy to live with. Think Pug crossed with Staffy crossed with a mole which has been infused by a Ghostbusters Terror Dog, before dropping it into dinosaur form, and you’ll be somewhere near what this thing offers, as it scrounges around in the most low-lying of veg patches. If we could have a park full of Lystrosaurus, we would.
With a small but strong line-up of new dinosaurs, the chance to take in a decent campaign addition and the opportunity to again throw hours of life at Jurassic World Evolution 2, it’s safe to say that the Dominion Malta Expansion is another valuable addition to the roster. If you’ve gone all-in on what Frontier have created so far, then you’d be mad to not fill your boots here.
Jurassic World Evolution 2: Dominion Malta Expansion is on the Xbox Store
- A decent range of new dinos
- Additional campaign to follow
- Unlikely to tempt those not already immersed in JWE2
- Perhaps it needs to be a tad cheaper
- Massive thanks for the free copy of the game go to - Frontier Developments
- Formats - Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, PS4, PS5, PC
- Version reviewed - Xbox Series X
- Release date - 8 December 2022
- Launch price from - £15.99